The partial collapse of a condominium building north of Miami Beach around 1:30 a.m. today led to loss of life and fear among those who live in the vicinity.
More than 70 units in the 40-year-old beachfront high-rise in the city of Surfside were reported as being directly affected. At least one person was declared dead at the scene. Dozens are unaccounted for.
First responders continued search and rescue efforts throughout the day as officials wondered aloud about the causes of the catastrophe. Roofing work had been taking place at the site, although whether that activity played any role in the building’s failure is unknown.
Infrastructure expert Atorod Azizinamini, chair of the FIU College of Engineering and Computing’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, provided insight (see video) into what investigators will look for as they work to determine what went wrong.
Azizinamini directs FIU’s Resilient and Sustainable Coastal Infrastructure program. He has worked on technologies for the construction of high-rise buildings in seismic regions and developed a method to detect corrosion in steel embedded in concrete.